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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Powerful Blazes: Interesting Facts About Wildland Fires

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In this list of interesting facts about wildland fires, you will find new reasons to respect and fear the mighty powers of a forest fire. Wildland fires can devastate entire towns and uproot lives. They are a horrific force. Hopefully, you will never have to face one in person. But, just in case you do, it is good to have some of the background knowledge provided by this article.

Most Animals Escape Fires

Although the public typically believes wildland fires have a devasting effect on animal populations, the truth is very few animals actually die in the flames. Especially large mammals, which can instinctively sense when fires are a threat, leave the area before the fire arrives. The animals that suffer the most are the smaller, less mobile creatures, like tiny rodents and bugs.

Wildland Fires Can Make “Fire Tornadoes”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a “fire tornado” as “vigorous atmospheric circulation, created when highly unstable, superheated, dry air near the ground breaks through the boundary layer and shoots upward in a swirling motion.” These fire events can be as high as 1,000 feet and maintain a rotational velocity of up to 90 miles per hour.

Humans Are Often Responsible for Wildland Fires

If you study the most common causes of wildfires, you will see that humans often have a big role to play in these natural disasters. Poorly maintained campfires, littered cigarettes, arson, and vehicle crashes are all common reasons why a forest may go up in flames. Just like Smokey Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Be smart whenever you go camping; you do not want to be the reason for deaths and millions of dollars lost in property damage.

One Beetle Thrives During Wildland Fires

One of the most interesting facts about wildland fires is that there is a certain kind of beetle that loves forest fires. The beetle of the subgenus Melanophils has infrared sensors it uses to find burning forests. Upon finding its ideal inferno, it lays eggs among the charcoaled trees. These beetles prefer dead, scorched trees because the trees do not have defense mechanisms to stop the insects from burrowing.

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